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Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

White House aide Stephen Miller was escorted off the set of CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday after host Jake Tapper told Miller he was wasting viewers’ time and ended Miller’s interview on the show, according to several reports.

Business Insider was first to report that Miller was escorted off the set, citing two sources close to the administration. Miller was asked to leave the set several times and when he he ignored the requests, security came to escort him out, per Business Insider.

The Hill and CBS News later confirmed that Miller was escorted off the CNN set.

During the Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Miller dodged several questions from Tapper about President Donald Trump’s tweets and former White House adviser Steve Bannon. As Miller avoided Tapper’s questions, the CNN host eventually cut him off.

“I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him, okay?” Tapper told Miller. “And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”

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During a brief press conference at Camp David on Saturday afternoon, flanked by GOP congressional leaders and cabinet secretaries, President Donald Trump insisted that Mexico will pay for a wall along the United States’ southern border.

“I believe that Mexico will pay for the wall. I have a very good relationship with Mexico. As you know, we’re negotiating NAFTA. We’ll see how that goes,” Trump said. “But Mexico will pay. In some form, Mexico will pay for the wall.”

Trump’s comment came as he explained his stance on legislation to restore the protections from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed certain young, undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

The President stressed to reporters that any DACA legislation should include funding for the border wall. He also said that bill should address “chain migration” and the visa lottery program.

“The wall is going to happen, or we’re not going to have DACA,” he said.

The Trump administration has asked for $18 billion over 10 years to expand the border wall. The administration wants to build 316 miles of new barrier and replace or bolster 407 miles of existing barrier with those funds.

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President Donald Trump said on Saturday afternoon that he will be heavily involved in the Republican primaries for the 2018 election, but he said it’s unlikely he will back anyone challenging a Republican incumbent.

“I’ll be very much involved,” Trump said from Camp David when asked if he’d be involved in the GOP primaries. “I will be actually working for incumbents and anybody else that has my kind of thinking. I think that’s going to happen, and we’ll make a lot of trips. We’ll be very involved.”

Asked if he would consider supporting any primary challengers, Trump indicated it’s not likely, citing Republican Roy Moore’s loss in the Alabama special election.

“I don’t see that happening. I don’t see that happening at this moment, no. I think they have sort of scattered,” he said. “We have somebody that lost us the state of Alabama, and I think, as far as I’m concerned, that was a shame that that was lost. It should never have been lost.”

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President Donald Trump on Saturday said that a New York Times report that the he directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia probe was “off,” but he did not outright deny making that demand.

“Everything I did is 100 percent proper. The story by the way in the Times was way off, or at least off. Everything that I’ve done is 100 percent proper. That’s what I do, is I do things proper,” Trump said when asked if he told the White House counsel to tell Sessions not to recuse himself, as the New York Times reported.

Asked how the New York Times story was “off,” Trump simply replied, “You’ll find out. But the story was off.”

Trump also addressed why he felt compelled to defend his mental stability in a Saturday morning Twitter rant.

“Only because I went to the best colleges, or college. I went to — I had a situation where I was a very excellent student, came out and made billions and billions of dollars, became one of the top business people. Went to television and for ten years was a tremendous success, as you probably have heard. Ran for president one time and won,” Trump said when asked about his tweets.

Trump then denied that he spoke with the author of the new book “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff, and said he was “heartened” that members of the “fake news media” defended him “because they know the author and they know he’s a fraud.”

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The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the Kushner Companies’ use of the EB-5 visa program, which grants green cards to foreigners who invest in American businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday morning, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The SEC issued a subpoena to the Kushner Companies, the company run by the family of White House adviser Jared Kushner, in May 2017 asking for information on the company’s use of the program, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported in August that federal prosecutors in New York separately subpoenaed the Kushner Companies over their use of the program.

It’s not clear whether the SEC probe targets any specific project run by the Kushner Companies, the Journal reported. The subpoena issued by federal prosecutors in New York focused on the One Journal Square development in New Jersey, per the Wall Street Journal.

The Kushner Companies’ use of the visas came under public scrutiny in May when Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, mentioned her brother’s name in a pitch to Chinese investors. At the time, the company apologized and said that they did not intend to try to lure investors by mentioning Jared Kushner’s name.

“In the course of discussing this project and the firm’s history with potential investors, Ms. Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project,” the company said in a May statement. “Kushner Companies apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. That was not Ms. Meyer’s intention.”

Jared Kushner stepped away from the family business and divested from the One Journal Square project, but maintains a stake in other parts of the business. He also recused himself from any policy matters surrounding the EB-5 visa program.

 

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Twitter on Friday announced that it will not block world leaders or remove their controversial tweets.

The post did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but the announcement was likely prompted by concern about Trump’s social media habits. The President recently bragged about the size of his nuclear button on Twitter and has retweeted posts from a British far-right leader who was later suspended by Twitter.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about political figures and world leaders on Twitter, and we want to share our stance,” Twitter said in a statement on Friday. “Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation. Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society.”

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions,” the company added.

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President Donald Trump woke up angry on Saturday morning and vented on Twitter with a rant defending his mental state and intelligence.

The Saturday morning tirade was Trump’s latest response to a new book about his campaign and administration, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury.” In the book, Wolff describes a chaotic campaign and White House, and quotes former Trump staffers, like Steve Bannon, criticizing Trump and his operation.

Before the book was officially released, the White House bashed the book as “trashy tabloid fiction” and Trump denounced Bannon over his comments to Wolff. Lawyers for Trump also threatened Bannon and Wolff in cease and desist letters. Trump on Friday morning claimed that he never spoke to Wolff for the book and charged that the tell-all is full of lies.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday afternoon defended the President’s legal threats against the author and publisher of a new book about his campaign and administration and insisted that President Donald Trump does believe in the First Amendment.

“The President absolutely believes in the First Amendment. But as we’ve said before, the President also believes in making sure that information is accurate before pushing it out as fact when it certainly and clearly is not,” Sanders said when asked about the legal threats and whether Trump believes in the First Amendment.

A lawyer for Trump on Thursday morning sent cease and desist letters to author Michael Wolff and publisher Henry Holt, demanding that they stop printing and releasing Wolff’s forthcoming book about the Trump campaign and administration, “Fire and Fury.” Excerpts from the book published this week paint Trump’s campaign and administration in an unflattering light. The book also quotes former White House adviser Steve Bannon criticizing Trump and his campaign.

Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, sent a letter to Bannon on Wednesday night, threatening to sue him over his comments to Wolff. Harder was the lawyer who represented former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan in his legal quest against Gawker. Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker ultimately forced the gossip news website to shutter.

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Two members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Thursday called for Jeff Sessions to step down as attorney general, arguing that he’s done a poor job of preventing leaks about the Russia probe and quelling news stories about the investigation.

In an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) complain that the Russia probe has dominated headlines for the past year and that the focus on the probe has “frequently masked the substantial accomplishments of President Trump’s administration.” They also charge that there is still no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, questioning why the investigations into the matter have continued with few results.

The congressmen go on to question the accuracy of a recent New York Times report that comments made by low-level Trump aide George Papadopoulos in the spring of 2016 helped motivate the FBI to launch the Russia probe. They instead suggest that the infamous Trump dossier played more of a role in starting the probe.

Meadows and Jordan complain that the FBI has done little to answer questions about the origin of the FBI probe and charge that Sessions has been ineffective in stemming leaks about the investigation from the FBI and Justice Department.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but it would appear he has no control at all of the premier law enforcement agency in the world. It is time for Sessions to start managing in a spirit of transparency to bring all of this improper behavior to light and stop further violations. If Sessions can’t address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general?” they wrote. “Sadly, it seems the answer is now.”

Jordan has previously pushed Sessions to name a special counsel to investigate how the FBI approached the Trump dossier, indulging a theory popular among conservatives that the FBI worked with Democrats to place focus on the dossier.

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A lawyer representing President Donald Trump sent letters to the author and publisher of a new book about the Trump campaign and administration on Thursday morning, demanding that they stop printing the book and halt any efforts to release the book next week, ABC News reported.

“We are investigating numerous false and/or baseless statements that you have made about Mr. Trump,” attorney Charles Harder wrote in the letter, per ABC News.

Harder sent a similar letter to former White House adviser Steve Bannon last night, threatening to sue Bannon for defamation and violating a confidentiality agreement.

Bannon spoke with Michael Wolff for his book, “Fire and Fury,” and apparently told Wolff that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Kremlin-linked lawyer was “treasonous.” Excerpts published from the book this week also suggest that Bannon did not take Trump seriously and that Trump ran a dysfunctional, chaotic campaign and White House.

The comments from Bannon and book excerpts set Trump off, prompting him to release a fiery statement disavowing Bannon.

Harder, Wolff, and publisher Henry Holt did not return TPM’s requests for confirmation or comment.

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